Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hurray for Concrete!

Chez Neumansky had another visit from the concrete fairy!

Much as the 8am on a Saturday concrete delivery was probably not loved by our neighbors, I'm sure they'll be as happy as we will to have the porta-potty off the sidewalk and no more tarps flapping in the wind!

As you can see, we passed our inspection for the radiant heat and got the go-ahead to pour. The last odds and ends were taken care of yesterday: put rebar down in the driveway, broke up the sidewalk to encase the sump pump's discharge pipe and repair what had been broken, and everything up off the floor/ground to make way for the concrete.

Bright and early this morning they rolled up and got to work.

Look at it oozing in!

<--You can see the outline of our bathroom here. Although the pex is fairly indestructible I'm still sore from putting it in (remind me to buy stock in zip ties.. with those and some duct tape, there's nothing that can't be built), so they've been humoring me by stepping in between the tubing as much as possible.

I'm happy with how deep the tubing is in the concrete.. it needs an inch of concrete above it, or there's a possibility of cracks when it heats up. In some places it looked like it might be pretty close, but it all seems very nicely embedded.

The teamwork is really impressive.. one guy holds the tube spitting out the concrete, one shovels it around to make sure it gets everywhere and sometimes there's someone else with a trowel getting it into the tight spots, and they all stomp it around with their rubber boots..

..then one guy makes a pass with a 2"x4" to smooth it down, and then two guys screed it for real with a longer 2"x4"

Then they let it set for a little while, and for the larger areas someone comes back in and cuts control joints to limit cracks in the wide expanses of concrete.

And then it's all gone over with a float to make it nice an smooth and pretty.. "mirror finish" they've been calling it.

I'm also a little surprised with how much work is done by hand, especially around the stairs.

See that box on Dean's belt? That's a remote controller for the concrete! So he can be in the back of the house and be able to turn the flow on and off as needed.. pretty cool stuff

<-- The front steps are almost done.

It's very exciting to think that soon we'll be able to go in and out our front door! and I bet there will be no trudging through mud to find our newspaper ever again..

<-- Here are the two steps we need to get down to the new level at the front of the house. Aren't they lovely??

In back we have a much larger difference in level, which we'll deal with as a separate project.

Back out front we have the sidewalks getting smoothed down (moments before the rain showed up and left little divets everywhere.. it'll be good for traction.. yeah, that's it.. it's a feature!)

And the driveway is getting a broom-finish which is rougher than everywhere else. That'll make it easier for the mortar to stick when I put down the bricks.

And voila! We have to put doors up next, and touch up some paint.. but we're getting very close to having at least the outside of the house not be an eyesore!

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